Entries by Tom Neff

50 Letters From Architects: Our Contribution

This is part of a series of blog postings of Schmidt Associates architects’ responses to the American Institute of Architects (AIA)-Indianapolis invitation to write letters to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Architects submitted big or small ideas to improve the urban built environment for Indianapolis and were on display at The Hall during June and July […]

How to "Right Size" Your School

Has your school or district experienced influxes or decreases in student population due to shifting enrollment patterns or unanticipated variables that impacted your demographic projections? Having too few (or too many) students in a building affects space utilization, staffing, and operating costs. Typically, the capacity of a school is determined by the number of classrooms […]

40% Reduction in Design Time Using Integrated Technology

Owners often ask for “faster, better, cheaper.” Schmidt Associates and Turner Construction recently completed an addition and renovation for Lake Central School Corporation’s high school, reducing design time through the use of integrated technology by 40%. The key elements that reduced design time were: •  Our on-site team and office teams worked directly with school […]

How Do Security Vestibules Work in Schools

Security planning and implementation is critical to keep students and faculty safe in educational facilities. Security vestibules provide additional protection by adding a secured space. Vestibules are secured spaces with two of more sets of doors and an office sign-in area. Once a visitor has signed in and been identified as an authorized visitor, the […]

What Strategic Planning Process Should be Followed for a Referendum?

One of the most important components to the success of any community involvement is creating a community-based Planning and Review Committee (PRC). Members of this committee should represent key interest groups in the community and support the school district. The PRC should be manageable in size (12-18 people), as well as flexible and available to […]

Educational Facility Assessments

As a school corporation determines the future of its buildings, it must look at both the physical conditions of the existing buildings and systems, as well as their capacity to serve the needs of the educational programs. Step one is a Facility Assessment to develop priorities for upgrading, repairing, or even replacing each building. The […]

5 Basic Design Organizing Principles for Facilities

Design organization is critical for successful space utilization in facilities.  There are five basic organizing principles used either individually or in combinations to design functional facilities – Radial, Grid, Axial, Spiral, and Cluster. 1. Radial Elements radiate out from a central, figural point.  Our solar system is the most basic radial scheme. 2. Grid A grid is […]